A DORSET MP has admitted that claims austerity was coming to an end had been "slightly misleading".

South Dorset representative Richard Drax contradicted his Conservative colleague Philip Hammond, who had said the UK was close to exiting the period of economic pressure.

Mr Drax said all parties should admit to spending more money than the country could afford for a long time.

He said: "I'm afraid I don't agree that austerity has ended in a technical sense because we have a debt of £1.8 trillion, we have a debt interest to pay of nearly £50 billion a year and all that before the country takes one pace forward.

"I think to say austerity is ending could be slightly misleading in the sense that we can turn on the taps and spray money around to all the many good causes which in effect we cannot.

"I think we've got to accept on all sides of the House that the United Kingdom has spent more money than she can afford for many years, under all governments, and it's time now to live within our means, that's the way that any household lives, within their means and properly."